There’s only one word that describes the Toshiba Portege R705-P41: Wow. Just look at its features, starting with the Intel Core i5 processor with two cores each running at 2.53 GHz. That’s over 5 GHz of combined processing power—which can be extended to almost 6 GHz of combined processing power using Intel’s selective over-clocking mode called Turbo Boost.
What can you do with over 5 GHz of CPU? Almost anything—play multiple High-Definition (HD) videos, run multiple Virtual Machines (VMs), and play all the best games. Plus (and most people don’t realize this) a powerful CPU can actually conserve your battery power by doing all the necessary work immediately and then switching into a low-power mode.
How The Toshiba Portégé R705-P41 Got Its Name
If you’re like me, you’ll look at the name of the Toshiba Portégé R705-P41 and read it wrong the first time. It’s a deliberate misspelling designed to make you think this is a very portable notebook—and it is. It’s 12.4 inches in its longest dimension and only 0.7-inches think, making it the thinest notebook I’ve ever reviewed.
From the size specifications, you’d have a hard time believing the Toshiba Portege R705-P41 isn’t a netbook—until you see its gorgeous 13.3-inch screen. It’s plenty big enough to display text at a comfortable size that won’t strain your eyes and give you headaches. It’s big enough and bright enough that if you look at the Portégé while it’s open, you’ll confuse it with a 15-inch laptop.
But any confusion with larger laptops will vanish again when you pick up this 3.2-pound machine. I can’t believe how light it is—it’s lighter than many smaller netbooks. Heck, my 90-year-old grandmother could carry this around all day without noticing it, which means it’s great for you if you often dash across campus or through the hallways of your office building carrying your notebook.
Of course, the problem with light notebooks is that they usually have to sacrifice battery mass in order to get their weight down—but that’s not the case with the Toshiba Portégé R705-P41. It advertises a battery with an 8-hour life—and that claim was tested using the industry standard MobileMark 2007 software. Still, let’s be honest, real-life use will probably only get you 6.5 to 7.5 hours, but thats almost an entire work day with the Portégé and plenty enough time to do many important tasks: take notes at several classes or meetings, attend a full-day seminar, and even watch two “extended edition” movies or three regular movies on the bus or plane.
Built For Video: The Toshiba Portégé R705-P41
The integrated Intel High-Definition graphics card is one of the most stable graphics cards available. Thanks to its direct integration with the processor, it can access up to 2 GB of the Toshiba Portégé R705-P41’s memory, giving you graphics performance unparalleled by cards which only support 256 or 512 MB of graphics memory. You can use it to watch 720p HD videos in native resolution on the 1366×768 monitor, play games, or do any other task requiring powerful graphics.
Want to watch HD videos on your 72-inch HDTV? No problem. The Toshiba Portégé R705-P41 includes HDMI output which lets you send HD video and audio to your TV using a single cord. Even better, you can go cordless using Intel’s Wireless Display mode—all you need to do is connect a special adapter to your TV and click a button on your Portégé to display HD videos on your TV. You can also use the same technology to display photos or presentations.
Of course, if you frequently give presentations at school or work, you know that most projectors still only support VGA connections—that too is no problem for the Toshiba Portégé R705-P41 which includes a standard VGA output port.
The Future Of Communication On The Toshiba Portégé R705-P41
Do you remember in 2001: A Space Odyssey how everyone communicated using video phones? Well, widespread adoption is getting here a bit late, but thanks to the Toshiba Portégé R705-P41 you too can easily start making video calls to family, friends, and colleagues. Its built-in webcam works with all popular software, including Skype and Google video chats, and beyond chatting will let you complete assignments for many online classes which now require video conferences.
Core Features And Accessories Of The Toshiba Portégé R705-P41
The Toshiba Portégé R705-P41 is loaded. There isn’t a feature you’d want that it probably doesn’t already have in abundance. In the interest of preserving space, here’s a quick rundown:
- 500 GB Disk Drive so you have plenty of space for all of your files. It has enough space to fit thousands of typical documents or about 400 full-length movies. That should be enough to get you through even the longest road trip.
- 4 GB Memory (upgradable to 8 GB for a small charge) which will let you multitask with abandon. Just 4 GB is enough memory to open hundreds of tabs in your Web browser or run multiple virtual machines simultaneously, plus it will speed up every application you use and reduce the number of times your Toshiba Portégé R705-P41 needs to access the disk drive—letting the drive “spin down” to conserve battery life.
- Windows 7 Home Premium is the latest version of Microsoft Windows in the top-level edition for home users. You get all of the great new features plus enhanced network abilities that make it easy to connect to other computers on your home or business network.
- Full DVD Drive which is something else you wouldn’t get on a netbook. It supports reading and burning all current popular formats, including burning double-layer disks which hold up to 8 GB—the equivalent of over 1,000 high-quality pictures. I’m amazed Toshiba was able to fit a DVD drive into the Toshiba Portégé R705-P41 after giving it every other possible feature.
- eSATA Port which lets you connect supported external disk drives at up to five times the speed of a USB 2.0 disk drive. If you use external disk drives a lot, this is definitely a feature you want.
- 4 USB 2.0 Ports (one of which doubles as the eSATA port) so you can connect all of your accessories without carrying around an annoying USB hub.
- A Sleep & Charge USB port (which is also the eSATA port) which will power one of your USB devices even when your Toshiba Portégé R705-P41 is turned off. This is great for charging your cell phone or media player while you sleep.
- A Digital Card Reader so you don’t need to carry around the cord for your digital camera or other devices just to copy pictures and files around. Just remove the card from your camera, put it in the card reader, and a folder will appear on your desktop containing all of your photos. Supports Secure Digital (SD), Secure Digital High Capacity (SDHC), Memory Stick (MS), Memory Stick PRO, xD Picture Card, Mini SD Card, SDXC, and Multi-Media Card.
- Wireless-N Support lets you connect to the Internet from twice the distance and up to 15 times the speed of traditional wireless—but if your school, office, or favorite coffee shop still only support the older 802.11 B or G protocols, you can continue using them with your Toshiba Portégé R705-P41.
It’s amazing so little money can get you so many incredible features in such a small little notebook. I repeat what I said earlier—Wow is the only way to describe the Toshiba Portégé R705-P41.